Wednesday, May 06, 2020

COVID-19 Level 3: Day 9

Dizzy Gillespie; Sonny Rollins; Sonny StittBille Holiday
More Billie Holiday on Columbia was on the menu this morning. The box set contains so many songs that you never hear these days and that in itself is refreshing. And of course there are plenty of old favourites - “Pennies from Heaven” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (also check out Pops’ version from the early 30s too - amazing phrasing). “This Year’s Kisses” was on a disc I had pretty early on as I was getting into jazz. Still a favourite. Irving Fazola’s clarinet tone on the session from September 1936 (“A Fine Romance” etc) popped out at me this morning. What was it with New Orleans and clarinetists? Is it the whole opera and the blues thing? Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, Jimmy Noone, Edmond Hall, Barney Bigard, George Lewis.... not a bad run

Yesterday I mentioned how the Billie Holiday sessions don’t feel like all-star outings. Well a bunch of the Dizzy Gillespie albums I have are along the lines of “Dizzy meets” type albums. And those jam-type sessions can fall into the trap of spectacle rather than music making (like heaps of those videos of all-star jams at festivals during the 70s). Duets is blowin’ session Diz with his rhythm section (Ray and Tommy Bryant and Charlie Persip) along with Sonny Rollins for two blues and two Sonny Stitt for two afro-cuban numbers. I think I would have preferred it the other way around. Or perhaps that’s just me favouring Rollins over Stitt. The upside with Sonny Side Up.... you get to hear both on all the tunes. And I’ll get to that one soon enough.

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